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191 American Queen Steamboat Company North America River Cruise Reviews

Seeing the mighty Mississippi has been on our list, if only for the size and its place in history. We travelled from Australia to cruise on the American Queen for a 9 night Lower Mississippi New Orleans to Memphis itinerary. Cruise ... Read More
Seeing the mighty Mississippi has been on our list, if only for the size and its place in history. We travelled from Australia to cruise on the American Queen for a 9 night Lower Mississippi New Orleans to Memphis itinerary. Cruise included a first night stopover in New Orleans at the very convenient Riverfront Hilton, which had a pre-checkin facility, which was easy to do. We did our own exploring rather than used the optional premium tours. First view of the boat tied up was impressive, the Queen is certainly a big boat and certainly looks like a riverboat of bygone days. On boarding day we climbed aboard and went directly to our state room, Dining was a treat, the Dining room was well appointed and we had a set 2 person table for dinner, which was a mixed thing in that we did not mix with other guests much. Staff attention was good and the food very good to excellent, with nicely sized portions. All the bar staff were very good and the River Grill/Calliope Bar on deck 5 became a favourite, where you can view the large river and all on it and the mesmerizing rear paddle wheel. Ensure that you go down to the engine room to actually see the steam engines at work, again the duty staff were just too happy to answer questions. Dining options also include the more casual Front Porch with a nice open air and some inside dining tables which often was the lunch choice, to enjoy the outside weather and views of the river. On our trip we chose only a couple of the option excursions, both of which were quite good, with the Laura Plantation at the Nottoway stop being a standout. The Vicksburg Battlefield tour gave a great overview of the siege of 1863. Included Hop on Hop tours at the ports of call cover the stops quite nicely, but we chose to walk into most ports of call, but caution some of these are some distance so this method is not for everybody. We are a late 50's couple so the demographic of the cruisers on our trip was largely quite senior, which was largely within expectations, met some really nice folks from all over the US, Canada and fellow Antipodeans. Highly recommend the daily Riverlorian talks, Bobby Durham, the Riverlorian on our trip was terrific and very entertaining with his presentations on river history, geographics, commerce and folk lore. The entertainment was not quite our scene but the 4 performers and resident band were able to put on a good show for the presentations we attended, with the timings set so that both dinner sittings could partake if they desired. This type of cruise is a more laid back type, there are vast stretches of river where all you see is riverside forest with occasional industrial works and many, many working barges. The Mississippi is still largely a working river. There are not a lot of riverside towns, What was fascinating to watch the way that the often very large barges and their Tow navigate this winding river. Disembarkation appeared to be quite seamless, we chose the independent option, where our bags were moved to the Memphis terminal, we walked off and picked them up and proceeded off to our hotel, not choosing the post cruise options We feel we would quite possibly travel American Queen Steamboat again. Our expectation was to watch this river go by and get an appreciation for the part the Mississippi played in driving the US expansion and economy in the 1800's and indeed today. That is exactly what the cruise provided. Having a great room, great food and terrific staff was a bonus. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Although we are listing a bunch of issues that we encountered, we had a great time on our Memphis to New Orleans cruise. The cabin, dining, staff, hop on-off and premium excursions met and/or exceeded our expectations. The Peabody and ... Read More
Although we are listing a bunch of issues that we encountered, we had a great time on our Memphis to New Orleans cruise. The cabin, dining, staff, hop on-off and premium excursions met and/or exceeded our expectations. The Peabody and Intercontinental hotel selections were excellent choices. But, as a passenger with mobility issues, the following items are presented and if remedied would make the Duchess an ideal selection for those with physical impairments. American Duchess embark process was cumbersome - lengthy lines and 2 different stations to get through. We were on the 3rd deck and got a notice in the a.m. that balconies would be washed between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. - open balcony curtain at 8 a.m. and the crew was already washing our balcony. In the afternoon we went to stern, 2nd deck, to find that the dirt from the 3rd deck was washed onto 2nd deck rockers and chairs making them unusable. The rockers were never cleaned. The bow stacks, which are for decoration only, were up and down as required for clearance. The stern stacks were stuck in a down position which, when engines engaged, blew carbon flakes on our balcony (and us, when we were sitting there). Most of the guests were senior citizens like us and a few, including me, had mobility issues. The bow elevator was closed for maintenance during the entire cruise leaving guests to walk to middle of the boat to access the only working elevators. The rug on the sun deck had significant bumpy areas which present a dangerous trip hazard even during the daylight hours. The cabin maintenance staff left their vacuum cords unsecured when vacuums were in the hallway aisles. It was a pretty common experience where we had to step over these cords. When we were still in port in Memphis the Duchess was experiencing power issues - lights flickering, etc. A beaker finally blew when we ported in Natchez, requiring us to stay in port there for an extra day, missing out on our Baton Rouge stop. While the captain and cruise crew made the extra day as comfortable as possible we did miss on of our most-looked-for destinations and our all day Cajun experience. The open bar and adding a Natchez excursion helped but we were very disappointed in missing Baton Rouge. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise as a way of exploring the deep south in some luxury. It was very expensive at over £1000 per night per cabin but we thought that the quality of service would be at least equivalent to a European river cruise or an ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a way of exploring the deep south in some luxury. It was very expensive at over £1000 per night per cabin but we thought that the quality of service would be at least equivalent to a European river cruise or an American sea cruise such as Holland America or Princess. It was nowhere near up to this standard, especially the catering and waiting staff. Firstly, the positives. A great way to see the Mississippi and absorb the history and culture. Our balcony room was good, the entertainment was fine. The food was decidedly average apart from 2 delicious evening meals, a steak on the first night and a fish dish half way through. When attending for a meal, you have to wait to be seated, quite often 10 minutes standing first in line whilst the manager serves water or hands out menus. Despite waiting long times for service, food was often served lukewarm or sometimes cold. We saw numerous occasions when waiting staff were on their mobiles (no, Steamboat Company, this was not the food ordering devices, we can tell the difference). We constantly had to ask for rolls, cutlery etc. This is not the staffs' fault but that of the management who either didn't care about high standards or didn't know what it was (difficult to imagine since we were in America). I don't think there was a single tea spoon on the boat, had to stir coffee with the knife handle! Enough on catering, except to say that the upstairs evening dining room was freezing cold and very uninviting. booking is required despite it being half empty. We only went once. Half way down the river, the boat broke down. A common theme it seems. There were power cuts every day even after the "fault" had been fixed. So we were stranded in the quietest part of the river with nothing to do but read all afternoon. That meant that we missed out on Baton Rouge, the largest town (city) on the trip downriver. I later discovered that the boat was only 22 miles from BR so why on earth did they not hire some coaches to transport us in and back. Not difficult but, as far as I am aware, not even considered. I just wish I had had the foresight to ask. So we were just supposed to accept a major port was excluded. Compensation? A free bar for an hour (2 drinks) and 1 opportunity to win $500 dollars at bingo. Think carefully about this cruise line that seem to accept that you are a captive audience and they have very little competition so, why bother? Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I am working for two ladies in their late 80's as their caregiver on board the ship, but one of them is my employer. I work for her as an all around helper ,cook,driver and maintenance man. But before that i took care of her husband ... Read More
I am working for two ladies in their late 80's as their caregiver on board the ship, but one of them is my employer. I work for her as an all around helper ,cook,driver and maintenance man. But before that i took care of her husband for 4 years until he passed away. Fortunately she kept me on and I still work for her. Once a year she and her sister in law go on vacation for a week and take me with them as a helper. They got me my own stateroom on the boat. It's a very wonderful experience for me and hoping one day I can do it again with my wife. The crews are excellent and the boat is nice and clean. All the hop on hop off buses were so convenient and always on time. Even the tour guides at each location are locals, so they are very knowledgeable about the area. Unfortunately , I had one bad experience from other co-passengers. For I am a man with two senior ladies and some of them gave me the eye and a few questioned me about my relationship with the ladies. But on the final days of the cruise ,they seemed to understand the situation and complimented me with some nice words. All I can say that this cruise is highly recommended for more mature people and who love to learn about the past. Thanks for the excellent job ! and to Captain Ron Gray for choosing us to be invited to have dinner with him.That was very special. Keep up the good work and I will surely try other rivercruises of your company in the future. May Godbless you all ! And I want to share with you some great photos of mine on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We had dreamed for sometime of cruising the Mississippi and in August after 40 some cruises on the Ocean Ships we lived our dream. ASQC used the beautiful Sheraton Downtown Memphis for our pre cruise stay. Loved the city ! Rode the ... Read More
We had dreamed for sometime of cruising the Mississippi and in August after 40 some cruises on the Ocean Ships we lived our dream. ASQC used the beautiful Sheraton Downtown Memphis for our pre cruise stay. Loved the city ! Rode the Trolleys and had great ribs ant Central BBQ. When we first laid eyes on American Queen she was tied to a tree at Mud Landing (choking the stump) we later learned. Hey, where is the long line to board ? There wasn't any. We walked off the beautiful bus, down the hill and boarded. We walked up the red carpeted stairs and into a world we never expected. She was magnificent !. A Men's Card Room and Ladies Parlor , beautiful comfortable furniture. We headed for our cabin, 412, on deck 4. Another surprise. The cabin was beautiful and comfortable with French Doors that opened to our deck. We had a small table and two chairs which afforded us a chance to say good morning to the walkers. How they fit so much storage space in a small cabin remains a mystery. The food in the J.M. White ding room was excellent although we expected a little more Cajun/Creole flavors. If you did not like what was on the menu you could walk up to the buffet and serve yourself. The dining room staff was great. The other dining venue was the Front Porch which was buffet and you could sit outside and watch the river. Our ports of call were interesting. We rode the beautiful Hop on Hop Off busses doing the complete loop then getting off at points of interest. All our small town ports, Hickman KY Paducah KY, Cape Girardeau KY, Chester ILL were interesting and the people welcomed us and thanked us for visiting. St Louis was something special. We docked by the Arch and had a tour that would have been at least $79 on the big boats. We disembarked in Alton ILL early the next morning. A brief thought about the Entertainment. Broadway on a small stage. Excellent performers and an excellent piano player in the evening. The Engine Room Bar was the "hot" spot at night. Everything was free. Ice Cream , Pop Corn, Cookies Hot Dogs, all tours (except premium ones) and free bottled water delivered to your cabin each morning. The entire staff was friendly and always available to help. The star of the show was the magnificent Mississippi River. We spent hours sitting outside our cabins hypnotized bt the scenery and hundreds of barges passing by. We were not sure what to expect but Ole Man River and the AQSC delivered us memories that will last forever. We look forward to returning soon. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife and I were thrilled with our trip from Clarkston to Vancouver on the Empress. Starting with our included pre-cruise stay at the incredibly restored, beautiful Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. You can fly into Spokane and ... Read More
My wife and I were thrilled with our trip from Clarkston to Vancouver on the Empress. Starting with our included pre-cruise stay at the incredibly restored, beautiful Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. You can fly into Spokane and arrange for a shuttle to the hotel through the Davenport. The staffs from the Captain down through all the others that operate and maintain the boat and its facilities were all extremely knowledgeable, friendly and helpful at all times. The food was incredibly well prepared and served with such grace. Our cabin and all other facilities, along with nightly entertainment, was top notch. We lucked out with perfect weather for the entire trip which made for beautiful scenery watching as we moved gently down the rivers. The Hop-on-Hop-off bus excursions are convenient and well run, all though, pretty basic. This is a must for those interested in an elegant cruise on the Snake and Columbia rivers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
there was a credit of $800.00 from a previous sailing with the American Queen Steamboat company. We wanted to try the American Queen - the biggest of the 3 ships in the American Steamboat co. We were waiting for the last minute deal ... Read More
there was a credit of $800.00 from a previous sailing with the American Queen Steamboat company. We wanted to try the American Queen - the biggest of the 3 ships in the American Steamboat co. We were waiting for the last minute deal , we found this cruise in a very short notice of departure. the ship was built in 1995 - a paddle wheeler, the steamboat built back to the Victorian history of the 1900 -including the furniture in the cabin, the theatre, dining room, lounges. entertainment -done by the ship's own members -dancers & singers, world-class musicians - organized by the Steamboat Syncopators -playing trumpet ,bass, drums ,.piano,saxophone,clarinet , flute & trombone. and also outside guests performance - Dante Vaudeville -magic show,Lainie Gulliksen -Siren Songs celebrating the Sirens of Broadway,Pop, & Opera , also the ship's own musician entertainers During the day there were River Chat ,Movie Matinee ,Bingo dinner - on the J.M. White Dining Room -we were on the 5.15pm early seating food was good service were great there was a land tour -on the ship's Hop on Hop Off busesto visit many Plantation , resorts ,museum churches. there was hardly any children Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
we cruise in the Mississippi River starting from New Orleans Louisiana to Memphis TN withthe American Queen .Every day we stopped in 1 town, Nottoway Plantation in Nottoway,visting -the White castle completed in 1859 -64 rooms, then St. ... Read More
we cruise in the Mississippi River starting from New Orleans Louisiana to Memphis TN withthe American Queen .Every day we stopped in 1 town, Nottoway Plantation in Nottoway,visting -the White castle completed in 1859 -64 rooms, then St. Francisville ,St. Louisana-the plethora of beautiful & charming antebellum period homes & architecture.then Natchez,Mississippi -charming river town first inhibited by Natchez Indians & French explorers,Vicksburg,Mississippi -Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum,Greenville-HistoricDowntown Greenville Mississippi -Greenville History Museum, Hebrew Union Temple Museum,lastly in Memphis- Graceland-visiting Elvis Presley Mansion , airplane , gift shops& various museum - mostly using The American Queen Hop On & Hop Off buses. In the boat there is a life show every evening - musical band with the American Queen steamboat company, Steamboat Syncoptors -celebration of 50's - 80's pop music in a variety of styles,Memphis Soul & Blue Singer -Queen Ann Hines, Alaskan Boy -Alex Bernhardt sings his favourite songs, Southern Style starring Bobby DurhamDante -sleightof hand magic show, Lainie Gulliksen -Siren Songs -of broadway Pop & Opera etc.The food -lots of variety including Lobster tail - 7 ozs. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We sailed aboard the Duchess from New Orleans to Minnesota departing July 16th. The Duchess is a beautiful boat with room for 166 guests. The design of all the rooms is pleasing to the eye and very airy with high-ceilings. We ... Read More
We sailed aboard the Duchess from New Orleans to Minnesota departing July 16th. The Duchess is a beautiful boat with room for 166 guests. The design of all the rooms is pleasing to the eye and very airy with high-ceilings. We entered the boat into the room where Pursuer is located. Access to the bar and grand dining from the Purser is through a hallway lined with beautiful replicas by Monet masterpieces. The bar area is spacious, centered by the staircase accessing two decks. Large Austrian chandeliers hang from the ceiling, an abundance of blown and fused glass artwork line the walls there, in addition there are cozy seating areas outfitted with sofas and chairs. The dining room is large enough to hold all the guests. Breakfast (6:30 to 9) Lunch (11:30 to 1) and Dinner (5:30 to 8:00) all meals are open setting, an option that allows guests to eat meals at their leisure. The food was delicious, varied and often local. The service was exceptional, the dining room staff is friendly, professional and willing to go the extra mile. In addition to the grand dining room there is a smaller dining area, River Club and Terrace, on the second deck serving buffet style breakfast and lunch with open setting. Dinners are table service and require reservations. Perks, a little café, is also located on the 2nd deck with a self-serve cappuccino machine, soft serve ice-cream with toppings, juice dispenser, popcorn maker, soda and delicious cookies. Since the Duchess is a river boat and not a ship, one cannot expect the same type of entertainment and activities. However, the entertainment overall was very good. Day time activities were offered by the activities staff and an excellent river laurate. On several occassion a movie was shown and several people arrived with popcorn. A 4-piece band entertained each day before dinner, during the nightly shows and in the evening after the shows. The nightly shows were provided by the activities staff and/or local talent offering an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so each night. I cannot walk, so I traveled with a scooter. The Duchess has done a wonderful job in making it easy for those who must travel with a wheelchair or scooter to navigate the boat by adding slight inclines everywhere there is a door jam. The halls ways were wide enough for me to scoot down even with people coming in the opposite direction. The walls are lined with art work depicting river cruising. There are 2 spacious elevators available at each level which allowed me in my scooter and up to 6 other passengers to ride the elevator. At each port, a Hop On Hop Off bus tour was included,the stops were varied and interesting. Each day we were given a data sheet with details of each stop and an indication which stops were wheelchair (or scooter) accessible. Each bus is outfitted with a lift, so I was able to go on all the tours in my scooter. The bus drivers were wonderful loading me on the bus and off the bus as often as I wanted. They eliminated any concern I had about taking the tours and made me feel safe going up and down the lift. I suggest if you know anyone who has a mobility problem, they will be pleased with taking a cruise aboard the Duchess. We were in a wheelchair accessible cabin in the aft of the boat, which we were excited about as we could sit on the balcony and watch navigating the Mississippi from both sides and up close and personal seats as we went through the locks. They installed a ramp under the carpet which enabled me to access the balcony with ease. (If I were to make a suggestion, I would ask that they provide the same type of ramp outside the doors on the observation decks, as the height of the door jam was too high for me to get back into the boat without someone manually lifting my scooter). The room was large enough for me to navigate with my scooter and the bathroom had a large roll-in shower. The only problem with our room was the noise from the paddlewheel was sometimes annoying and there were nights we were wakened by that noise. If you are considering a cruise aboard the Duchess and desire either a wheelchair accessible cabin or one at the aft, just bring earplugs and/or sound abatement equipment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Unique, beautiful itinerary and fabulous entertainment and service staff mostly wonderful (but inconsistent Pursers Desk courtesy) but some cautions for those with special needs, diets and health concerns. Most staff are incredibly ... Read More
Unique, beautiful itinerary and fabulous entertainment and service staff mostly wonderful (but inconsistent Pursers Desk courtesy) but some cautions for those with special needs, diets and health concerns. Most staff are incredibly good, polite and service excellent. The scenery was beautiful and unique. Entertainment was top notch. Cabin Steward did a great job. Mostly quite nice but older boat; almost 1/4 of a century old, so some parts not overly well maintained. Floors often uneven so watch your step. Also toilets don’t have enough water and we have to use and carry around a cup to fill them. EW!!! And elevators have closed on us a few times. Guest laundry not always working. And the heating/air conditioning system does not work properly. Cautions: the management is often inept at fixing or responding to problems. It is freezing on the boat in public areas especially dining room and show lounge; bring a very warm jacket; we had to go find a store and buy heavy flannel shirts. VERY limited outside areas to sit unless you have a private balcony, especially if you have mobility issues. Very careful if you have any dietary concerns; I am gluten free, and the menus are wrong about what contains and I was served gluten and got sick. Even head waiters don’t understand what has gluetin in it. Items on menus are often not available, crew does not know where to find things. If you have mobility issues, please know that we were told that boat accessible, but top two outside decks are not. Also, if cigarette smoke is a concern, be warned that the entire top-deck...”sun deck”, is available to smoke on, instead of the usual: just on the port or starboard side. Communication to guests and among departments is not the best. Wheelchairs and scooters are parked outside dining room in front of emergency fire equipment door!!!!Big safety issue to me. And, if you book another cruise while onboard (and you may, as overall, it really was wonderful), be sure to get the quote in writing, as what we were told and what was later sent to us at home, was different than what we were told onboard. But these issues, while troublesome, did not ruin a really wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was probably the best cruise experience my wife and I ever had in over 16 years of cruising on a variety of cruise lines. The all-American crew provided first class service and did put some meaning to the idea of joining the AQSC ... Read More
This was probably the best cruise experience my wife and I ever had in over 16 years of cruising on a variety of cruise lines. The all-American crew provided first class service and did put some meaning to the idea of joining the AQSC family. American Queen was a true elegant Southern Belle affording us an experience closeted in sophisticated Southern Charm with true superior service. The entertainment was far better than we ever imagined with some class acts worthy of a place on Broadway. From the time of joining this steamboat at the included first night in the Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis until departure from the Premier Excursion at Minneapolis Airport, we never lacked the attention of the crew. Obtaining our boarding tickets for the included Hop-on / Hop-off tour busses was an easy nightly task that ensured we knew when we had to be at the gangway. Food was of the best and copious glasses of wine at dinner added to a very convivial atmosphere. We just cannot wait for the next publication of itineraries to select our 2020 return trip up the Ohio and Tennessee rivers on this beauty of a steamboat (or a sister). The only Premier excursions we purchased were the tours on Joining and departing the ship (with Airport Drop-off). All guides whether on the Hop-on / Hop-off or Premier excursions were of the highest calibre. Well done AQSC you have spoilt me, and now you've got me for life. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The trip was recommended to us by a longtime friend and we wanted a paddle boat experience. The trip was was a very enjoyable experience. The evening shows were super with some very talented performers. The food was above our general ... Read More
The trip was recommended to us by a longtime friend and we wanted a paddle boat experience. The trip was was a very enjoyable experience. The evening shows were super with some very talented performers. The food was above our general expectations. We have sailed many times on river boats and ocean liners and this was an easy match to our other cruises. There were very interesting and informative lectures throughout the trip. The entire staff was friendly and helpful, they made the trip special. We will be going on other cruises with American Queen Cruise Line in the future. The American Queen is a beautiful ship and well kept. It is very comfortable The officers of the American Queen are very friendly and managed the ship very well., But the exception is that this trip is not for everyone if you want Diamond International and a ship that contains a casino this is not a cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I like river cruising. To make a comparison of the two United States based river cruise lines, I took a cruise on the American Queen from Louisville KY to St. Louis MO.(( A year ago I traveled on American Cruise Lines (the competitor) on ... Read More
I like river cruising. To make a comparison of the two United States based river cruise lines, I took a cruise on the American Queen from Louisville KY to St. Louis MO.(( A year ago I traveled on American Cruise Lines (the competitor) on their Columbia River cruise.)) Great pre-departure hotel in Louisville. The Brown Hotel. Location was good for walking to many tourist venues. Good organization for checking-in and transport to the ship..You are issued a boarding card that is needed to leave and return to the ship. It is like a credit card, which is scanned. Same card is used to charge gift shop items and alcoholic beverages to your room account. You do NOT have to wear an ID badge around your neck like some cruise lines. Food was excellent in the main dining room. Food was good at the self serve buffet at the Front Porch dining option. There are assigned tables and assigned guests in the main dining room. These are kept the same for the entire cruise. I was traveling solo and was seated with 5 other solo travelers. It does give shy people a way to get to know people on the ship, but I like to be able to sit with different people each night. So that is just a personal preference-not good, not bad. The common rooms on the ship are well appointed in the old Mississippi River boat ornate style. Well maintained. Crew and service people were excellent. Friendly, helpful. This ship has a nightly "broadway" type show with small live band and 4 singer/dancers. A very nice auditorium they call the Grand Saloon. Where there is drink service available. There are included excursions. Premium excursions are an extra charge. They have unique Hop On Hop Off bus that transports you to the different points of interest at each port for the included excursions. To control crowds you have to get a free ticket in the lobby to designate which bus you will take to start the excursion. This helps with organization. Once on the route, you can get on any bus that has room at the designated stops. Stops are clearly marked with signs. The cost of $69 for most of the Premium excursions seemed a little pricey. It was just a longer bus ride with a guide on the bus taking you to an attraction farther from the port. There are also a variety of activities on the ship: sometimes a movie, bingo, Historical lecture about the rive was daily, My cruise had a culinary focus so there was a food lecture, a cooking demo and a cooking competition between two staff members, similar to the show Chopped on The Food Network. The daily River Times newsletter left in the cabin each night if very helpful for planning the next days activities. Even with around 400 guests on the ship, there was enough room to move about and not feel like you were being crowded. I was impressed enough with this cruise that I booked another one. I did select another room!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose the American Duchess as it was mainly suites and fewer quests. We went from Memphis to New Orleans, The cabin was very comfortable and not confining. There was a house band that was good would have liked more variety. Local ... Read More
We chose the American Duchess as it was mainly suites and fewer quests. We went from Memphis to New Orleans, The cabin was very comfortable and not confining. There was a house band that was good would have liked more variety. Local music would have been my choice (blues band, jazz band, Country band, riverboat music ). We had reservations the same time each evening with the same couple we met on the first day aboard. This riverboat had its own buses that were available at each stop for free hop on/hop off stops in each stop. They were free and worked for us. There were premium excursions $$ which we didn't try. Our dinner waiter took good care of us, however, breakfast and lunch in the main dinning room was sometimes spotty. There were other areas of buffet style food available. In addition free ice cream was available all day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Engine noise and vibration in our cabin and on the aft dining deck were bad. We had several equipment failures, delays getting off the boat in several ports and having to miss one port totally. Our tie-up in Hannibal was on the wrong side ... Read More
Engine noise and vibration in our cabin and on the aft dining deck were bad. We had several equipment failures, delays getting off the boat in several ports and having to miss one port totally. Our tie-up in Hannibal was on the wrong side of the river as the American Queen got the better spot, really? Otherwise we could have walked right off and into town, one of the few ports whee the walk is so short and easy. This was totally bogus. Dining waitstaff was way below par, you can get better service and professionalism in Denny's. They seemed untrained and unhappy; perhaps overworked? After a few days their coats and cuffs had food stains all over them, ugh! Food was nothing special, sometimes lukewarm or cold. Never asked "how is everything" had to ask for another roll or condiments for baked potato. Entertainment was pretty good for the first two weeks then the Cruise Director and his two assistants (also entertainers) left and were replaced by one "Assistant Cruise Director" who was a big disappointment. Things continued downhill from there. The dining service, the entertainment and the noise and vibration plus being late off the boat, or not off at all made this a poor cruise for what could have been all very good to excellent category reviews. For example the Hop-on Hop-off buses and local guides were all very good or excellent but but being late, or at bad tie-ups lowered the rating. If you chose a similar cruise get a forward cabin, on deck 3 and go down river. But first, check more reviews for a more professional and happy dining waitstaff. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Excellent cruise. My husband and I wanted to do something different for our Anniversay. We had the best time. Our cabin was 509. Great cabin with a full bathroom, robes and slippers to use while on the boat. Our cabin steward, Sherrie ... Read More
Excellent cruise. My husband and I wanted to do something different for our Anniversay. We had the best time. Our cabin was 509. Great cabin with a full bathroom, robes and slippers to use while on the boat. Our cabin steward, Sherrie was wonderful. The Dining room was so classy. Our servers Deshawna and Deanshawna (hope I spelled it right) was great. After the first night, they had our drinks waiting for us. There is free wine and beer with dinner. All cokes, teas, coffee are free. Be sure to stop by the bar by the paddlewheel, they make a mean old fashioned!!! Don't pass the peach cobbler up. Yummy! Most the ports of call were made in small river town. So much history and loved the small town shopping. The American Queen had their own buses that took you to different location of interest. Hop on, hop off was included in the cruise. Love it. The boat also had a golf cart to take you to the buses. Calvin-you are the BEST , lovely smile and also so kind and helpful. I hope you stay with the American Queen and get a promotion!!! American Queen, I will be back. I will not go on an ocean cruise again. So much to see , right here in the USA!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have enjoyed well over 30 cruises on America's Inland Rivers. The American Queen Steamboat Company has perfected river cruising once again, with so many extras too numerous to mention. The scenery is beautiful, the small towns ... Read More
I have enjoyed well over 30 cruises on America's Inland Rivers. The American Queen Steamboat Company has perfected river cruising once again, with so many extras too numerous to mention. The scenery is beautiful, the small towns are quaint and the cities have revitalized water fronts. AQSC offers Premium Shore Excursions that allow you to immerse yourself in the theme of the cruise if you so choose, with the transportation provided by the companies own motor coaches. They also provide transportation during the stop to various points of interest in each town visited. Or you can stay aboard when in port and enjoy special sessions by experts or simply sit on deck. My particular cruise allowed for several hours of daylight cruising, which is not the case with other cruise lines. The crew appear to enjoy their jobs and take catering to the customer very serious. The experience in the J. M. White Dining Room compares to a fine hotel. The service was excellent, the food superb. The large variety should satisfy any taste. There is a second food venue which allows for more casual dining with extended hours and snacks throughout the day. The Grand Saloon allows for professional entertainment. An onboard Riverlorian gives informative talks and is available to answer questions. These are just the highlights. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had sailed on the American Queen several years before and were happy to book this for a family cruise celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We were, all together, a party of 13. We sailed from Memphis to New Orleans. I cannot say ... Read More
We had sailed on the American Queen several years before and were happy to book this for a family cruise celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We were, all together, a party of 13. We sailed from Memphis to New Orleans. I cannot say enough nice things about the people on board the ship. Here are some examples. With that many people in our party, it was sad but not a surprise that two people I had put in a cabin together found it impossible to share the room. They were “thermostatically” incompatible: one wanted the room warm, the other wanted it cool. The ship was sold out. Nevertheless the purser’s office was able to somehow find us a single cabin so we could split these people up. I am so grateful as their unhappiness could have ruined the trip for everyone. Among our party were our kids and granddaughter, who was three. This is not a trip where you usually see children, but she had an absolutely fabulous time. One night we were looking at the stars and I pointed out Jupiter. She loves astronomy and had seen many pictures of the planet, but the point of light in the sky didnt look like those images. She insisted it wasn’t Jupiter. So we headed for the pilot house to see if the ship had a telescope. Not surprisingly, a crew member stopped us and said we weren’t allowed there except at special times. And that the boat didn’t have a telescope either. And yet, the very next morning that crew member tracked us down and said there was a kids’ science museum at an upcoming port of call which the granddaughter might enjoy. That’s going way beyond the call of duty. And she, in fact, loved the museum when we got there. We had planned a party one night to celebrate the anniversary. The food and drink and service were perfect. What wasn’t perfect was the weather. Just as the party started we hit a squall. Two of our friends were trapped inside their cabin by the wind and rain. Immediately two stalwart members of the crew hurried down there with muscle and umbrellas and escorted our friends to the party. I could go on and on, but you can see how impressed we all were. And the food and amenities were of course lovely. My only gripe was the pricing. I had hoped to get a price break by booking early and including such a large party. Nope. Not much of a break. In fact, a few months before our sail date there was a sale on cabins, but I would have had to cancel my cabins, pay a fee, and then rebook to take advantage of the break. The remaining savings were too small to be worth the trouble. Come on, American Queen. You can do better! They did upgrade our cabin, but I would have rather saved more money. Still, we would sail with them again whenever we can. Looking forward to the autumn cruise up the Tennessee River. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We both wanted to see a part of the United States that we hadn't seen before and a steamboat tour seemed the best idea. Although we knew that the weather would be hot and humid, it wasn't that terrible and most of the places were ... Read More
We both wanted to see a part of the United States that we hadn't seen before and a steamboat tour seemed the best idea. Although we knew that the weather would be hot and humid, it wasn't that terrible and most of the places were air conditioned. We spent an additional night in Memphis at the start of the cruise. Embarkation was smooth because of early check in the day before. We went on this cruise with long time friends who also thought this was one of the best cruises they had been on too. While the cabins are small, there is so much to do that you don't spend much time in your cabin. I can't say enough about the entertainment, especially the Ensemble. We went to see them each time and loved the way their voices blended together and they were in sync with their choreography. They seemed to really enjoy each other and what they were doing. Especially enjoyed watching Hannah interact with passengers. Liz in the dining room made the meals for us. She was so personable and remembered everything we told her about ourselves. We enjoyed all of our meals on the boat. While some of the ports seemed depressed, the sites that we saw on our hop on hop off buses were great. We went on the post cruise too in New Orleans and found it was well worth the money. We especially liked the World War II museum. I had not initially been planning on going there but was so glad I did. I think everyone should see this museum. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We just finished cruising the Mississippi on the American Queen Riverboat. What a wonderful trip we had. The food was excellent and they have great selections. If you have special dietary needs they go out of the way to prepare them for ... Read More
We just finished cruising the Mississippi on the American Queen Riverboat. What a wonderful trip we had. The food was excellent and they have great selections. If you have special dietary needs they go out of the way to prepare them for you.The service is impeccable . Beer & wine is free with dinner. There are plenty of activities on the boat and free hop on/hop off excursions that are free in each river port you stop. There are also premium excursions that you buy. We did Angola Prison, A Plantation, and the Vicksburg Civil War Battlegrounds. All are excellent. The entertainment is above any other boat I have been on by far. They are shows nightly and one is better than the other. There was also a sock hop and karaoke nights which are a lot of fun. Music in the bar afterwards as well. And if you just want to relax, you can sit on the front porch in a nice rocking chair, spend some time in the Mark Twain library or just wander the beautiful boat. You just might run into Mark Twain. We will definitely book another trip soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have long wanted to visit New Orleans and explore towns along the lower Mississippi, so this itinerary was perfect. We opted for the add-on "City Stay" offered by the cruise line. Only one other couple chose this option...it ... Read More
We have long wanted to visit New Orleans and explore towns along the lower Mississippi, so this itinerary was perfect. We opted for the add-on "City Stay" offered by the cruise line. Only one other couple chose this option...it was pricey and did not really offer much more than the basic trip (One night hotel stay is included with the trip, so in effect, this choice only added on one more day.) There were vouchers for a dinner, and admission to some local attractions, as well as a hotel more centrally located and a New Orleans Highlights excursion before embarkation. Embarkation and disembarkation was perhaps the smoothest we've ever witnessed. The ship itself is wonderful, and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Service was top notch, as was the entertainment. It was interesting to visit the towns where we docked. We sometimes opted for the included "Hop on-Hop off" bus, and also purchased additional premium excursions at two of the ports, Nottoway and Vicksburg. You get a real feel for the way of life in these towns, and the residents were very friendly and accommodating. Having read some reviews that criticized the food on board, we were not sure what to expect in this regard. However, these fears were misplaced, because every meal was absolutely delicious...as good if not better than what we have experienced on other upscale cruises. Overall, we found this entire experience to be excellent, and are already looking into our next trip with American Queen Sreamboat Company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise to see the Pacific Northwest. It was good, except for the nightmarish first day with no air conditioning and a toilet that did not work! UGH! We were moved (to a lesser room) and after that things were OK. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Pacific Northwest. It was good, except for the nightmarish first day with no air conditioning and a toilet that did not work! UGH! We were moved (to a lesser room) and after that things were OK. The company offered no compensation for this awful experience. The company is still working things out with meals, excursions, but acceptable. The waiter spilled beer all over my wife's clothing one night and she had to leave the dinner. I wrote to the CEO and never received even the courtesy of a response. Thus this review. I would be fearful of using the ship again. The Riverlorian and entertainment were very good. We are veteran travelers and not much gets our attention, but this surely did, what a way to run a business!! The Pacific Northwest is rich in nature and natural sights, but sparse in tourist destinations, most seem forced with little to offer, although they are trying. For the money, and no consideration when they screw up, the value is not there Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have always wanted to cruise the Mississippi River and go on a small ship so this seemed perfect. Pro's Food was very good with a nice variety to choose from each night. Wait staff was excellant. Shows were the same ... Read More
We have always wanted to cruise the Mississippi River and go on a small ship so this seemed perfect. Pro's Food was very good with a nice variety to choose from each night. Wait staff was excellant. Shows were the same 3 people each night but they were very good and gave us quite a variety. Hop on hop off bus and drivers were great. Used those at every port as they were included in price of cruise. All ports but Greenville were interesting. Con's Ship very small and not much to do. Room was at back of ship near the paddlewheel and was very noisy! The port of Greenville was a total waste of time-there has to be some place else they could stop. Only thing there was a very small casino. To give you an idea-one of the stops on the hop on hop off bus was the Dollar Store! I don't really feel this cruise was worth the price we paid, but it was something different than the othere cruises we normally go on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My wife and I, along with four other couples, sailed the American Empress from Spokane to Portland on May 20, 2018. This was our third cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company. We had previously done the Upper Mississippi and Nashville ... Read More
My wife and I, along with four other couples, sailed the American Empress from Spokane to Portland on May 20, 2018. This was our third cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company. We had previously done the Upper Mississippi and Nashville to Memphis on the American Queen. DAY 1: American Queen provides your first night stay at the historic Davenport Hotel. The hotel shuttle which we had reserved thru the hotel ($25 per room) was waiting for us and quickly delivered us to the hotel. The hotel is beautiful and we enjoyed lunch in the Grill. The prime rib French dip sandwich was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. We completed our ship check-in, enjoyed dinner and walked a few blocks to see Spokane Falls. DAY 2: The next morning, following a buffet breakfast provided by American Queen, we took the Spokane City Tour Premium Excursion. We returned to the hotel around noon which gave us time to check out and eat lunch before boarding the bus for the two hour drive to Clarkston. If you choose not to take the extra-cost city tour, the morning is yours until it is time to board the bus to Clarkston. After boarding the boat, one member of our group went to make reservations for the River Grill “specialty” dining and another member went to the dining room to request a table for ten for the entire cruise. During dinner we had a short cruise on the river before returning to the dock. DAY 3: Still in Clarkston, following breakfast we did the hop-on, hop-off bus before returning for lunch on our veranda. Our group had four adjacent cabins on the Vista Deck. Outside each cabin were two chairs and a small table. A low railing separated the veranda from the walking deck and there was a metal partition between each veranda. At our request, the deck crew removed the metal partitions between our cabins so the area was open and we could all sit out and talk to each other. We went thru our first lock this afternoon which lowered us 100 feet. Following dinner we enjoyed the evening show and spent about 45 minutes chatting with the performers after the show. It’s great being on a small ship where the crew and entertainers know your names after the first day. The weather has been perfect although it’s been warmer than we expected. DAY 4: When we arrived in Richland, WA we weren’t able to dock due to the high water level of the river because of early snow melt run-off. The boat was positioned perpendicular to the shore and the bow gangway dropped. The premium excursions and hop-on, hop-off ran as usual. We left at 4:30 pm and were told that we were sailing to Umatilla, OR so the boat could take on water and fuel. We enjoyed another wonderful dinner and show. DAY 5: The regular dock in Umatilla was flooded so we’ve docked at an industrial dock. Unfortunately we spent most of the day here and the stink of diesel fuel was horrible. We should have spent the day cruising. This was the low point of the cruise. About 5 pm we reached the John Day Dam lock. Enjoyed another wonderful show this evening. DAY 6: Arrived in Stevenson, WA for an overnight stay. The weather and scenery has really changed. Much cooler, windy and forested. Beautiful scenery. We visited the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum this morning, enjoyed dinner and the show. DAY 7: Visited Multnomah Falls, Vista House and Latourell Falls. Another delicious dinner followed by a great show. After the show we enjoyed a rock & roll dance party. DAY 8: Arrived in Astoria, OR to a beautiful sunny day. Everyone is telling us that this weather is unusually good for Astoria which is normally overcast and cloudy. We did the hop-on, hop-off bus this morning and following lunch we took the Lewis and Clark excursion. Enjoyed our last dinner and show and packed for the trip home. DINING We had requested and received early dining but a specific table is not assigned until you arrive for dinner. The dining room manager had us at two tables (6 and 4) the first night, but the rest of the cruise we had a table for ten with the same servers each night. The River Grill and Bar becomes a “specialty” dining venue with a fixed menu with several choices. Five or six seatings are offered each night. There is no extra cost to eat there but each guest is limited to two dinners per cruise. We had made reservations for two nights but after our first meal we cancelled our second reservation. We were not impressed. Several in our group had the steak and lobster and by the time the server got around to removing the lobster from the shell, it was cold and the steak for several people was cold upon arrival. The food was no better than that served in the dining room nor was the ambiance. For breakfast and lunch the River Grill has buffet offerings as well as cooked to order items such as eggs, hamburgers, etc. The soft serve ice cream machine and assorted toppings are located here. Several days later we were talking to the Dining Room Manager about our experience and how we felt it would be better to following the example of the American Queen and have the River Grill serve buffet style in the evening for those guests who would prefer a quicker, casual meal. He said that would be his preference also since he really doesn’t have the staff to do a proper job in the present set-up. The Dining Room offered varied menu items for breakfast and lunch, although we always ate breakfast and lunch in the River Grill. Dinner in the Dining Room offered a changing menu consisting of three starters, six soup/salads, eight entrees, several side items and five desert choices. There were several times when we ordered multiple entrees or extra servings which were happily provided. Overall the food was very good except for the pastry items which left much to be desired. They need a new pastry chef. ENTERTAINMENT The shipboard entertainment was excellent. Singers/dancers Sammi Sadicario and Daniel Lopez were both outstanding performers. Greg Pendzick sang and acted as the master of ceremonies and his wife Lindy Penzick sang and was the ship’s officer in charge of hospitality. Frank Chase played piano in the Paddlewheel Lounge. Kevin Neil captured the spirit of the wild west through his cowboy poetry and songs one evening. STAFF The staff was excellent. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. Our cabin attendant Olivia kept our cabin spotless and was a joy to work with. Dining room manager Baja arranged a special table for ten for our group and our servers Delonte and Lulu performed their duties in an excellent manner while making sure we had fun at dinner. A special thanks to Greg and Lindy Pendzick who handled their roles as entertainers and ship officers in a wonderful manner. They knew everyone’s name after the first day and went above and beyond to ensure that our cruise was wonderful. We never encountered a crew member who wasn’t helpful and more than willing to go out of their way to make our stay more comfortable. HOP-ON, HOP-OFF American Queen has their own fleet of four buses that follow the boat from stop to stop. At each town they provide a free hop-on, hop-off bus tour staffed by local historians that explain what you’re seeing and what’s at the different stops. The buses run in a continuous loop so you see what you want at your own pace. It’s a great system. In Clarkston we visited the Nez Perce National Historical Park and the Bridablik/Schroeder House. The House is a don’t miss attraction. It is a privately-owned residence that has been restored and filled with antiques. It is only open to American Empress guests and the owners take you on a wonderful tour followed by refreshments. Unfortunately they don’t allow any photography inside the house. In Astoria we visited Flavel House, a restored antique-filled house and the Astoria Column. PREMIUM SHORE EXCURSIONS We did several premium excursions which we felt were excellent and reasonably priced. The Spokane City Tour included Bing Crosby’s home, Manito Park and a ride on the historic 1909 Looff Carrousel. This tour fills your morning before being driven to the boat in Clarkston. Two members of our group went on the Hells Canyon Scenic Jet Boat Experience and enjoyed it. They said it was a smooth scenic ride. The High Octane Antiques: The Western Aeroplane and Automobile was wonderful. Over 325 airplanes, automobiles, motorcycles, jeeps and tractors are displayed. The Multnomah Falls & Vista House excursion included Multnomah Falls, Vista House and Latourell Falls, all beautiful locations. The Lewis and Clark Experience was very good. The Portland “The Rose City” Tour was also very good and delivered us to the Portland Airport by noon. Overall we had a wonderful cruise thru beautiful scenery. When comparing this cruise with our two previous trips on the American Queen, we preferred the American Queen. It is a larger ship which seemed to have more amenities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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